APNEC 10 Taipei Declaration

We, more than 600 participants from the field of environmental science, environmental law, environmental management and the representatives of numerous NGOs from 23 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, have come together for the 10th Asia-Pacific NGOs' Environmental Conference (APNEC-10) held over November 20-21, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan.

This event is significant being the 20th anniversary of APNEC, as well as the centenary of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Over these 20 years, APNEC has served as an important platform of dialogue among NGOs, academia, experts, enterprises and governmental officials in the environmental field throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Building on the achievements of previous conferences, APNEC-10 affirms that:

  1. It is essential to construct an integrated research and information exchange network to facilitate “green access” – access to information and to justice, to enable public participation and cooperation in decision-making in Asia-Pacific countries – in accord with Principle 10 of 1992 Rio Declaration, Aarhus Convention and UNEP Guidelines 2010.
  2. The increasingly frequent extreme weather events associated with climate change are causing untold human suffering, damage to biodiversity and heavy economic loss throughout the region. With the potential for runaway climate change, APNEC-10 participants call for immediate implementation of mitigation strategies and adaptation measures such as enhancing biodiversity and clean technology, and that these should be pursued in a coherent and integrated manner.
  3. The melting of glaciers in the Himalayas presents an unprecedented risk to humanity, particularly to the mountain and lowlands peoples. This calls for urgent and coordinated actions across the region to address the issue.
  4. The adoption and promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements are all the more imperative, given the increased atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and accelerating climate change, the consequence of the continuing reliance on fossil-fuel based energy and the greater recourse to an array of fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas and coal-seam gas.
  5. Some countries are promoting nuclear energy as non-CO2 emitting “clean” energy and campaigning to have it recognized as a mitigation measure in post-Kyoto international arrangements. We express grave concern with these moves as well as with proposals by some countries to export nuclear reactors to other countries, and urge governments to establish a nuclear-free region.
  6. In recognition of the increasing concern with the impacts of climate change and the devastation of natural and man-made disasters in the last few years, APNEC aims to register with a view to participating in the related fora of the United Nations as well as regional organizations (e.g., APEC, ADB) engaged in sustainability initiatives.
  7. Biodiversity conservation should be firmly integrated into national land use planning, consistent with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. NGOs should continue their involvement in the investigation and monitoring of national and regional biodiversity strategies and action plans.
  8. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region should establish appropriate legal and judicial systems, including citizen suits, to promote sustainable development and environmental justice.
  9. Countries in the region should pursue ecosystem-based management including strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of policies and programs.
  10. Countries should learn from and collaborate with each other in conducting marine spatial zoning and in developing adequate coastal ecosystems conservation, including underwater heritage, and to remedy problems caused by marine debris. Attention should also be directed to preserving the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples in coastal areas and islands.
  11. Pollution from high technology electronic industries remains a source of serious occupational health and environmental hazards in many countries of the region, and this conference supports the struggles for environmental justice of those people affected by this pollution and the conduct of health and risk assessments.
  12. The conference identified asbestos problems as a particular concern in Asia. Countermeasures have recently been taken by some countries, but others have continued to use enormous amounts of asbestos. Therefore the conference advocates a regional ban on asbestos to establish non-asbestos societies in the near future.
  13. Large-scale river engineering projects, including the so-called “4 Major Rivers Restoration” programs in the Republic of Korea, are not the “Green Growth” or “Green New Deal” solutions that they purport to be. These are exercises in green-washing and will not be conducive to sustainable development.
  14. APNEC-10 highlights the benefits of engaging the youth of the region in dialogue on how to build a sustainable future, and supports more efforts being made to enhance capacity building and environmental education.
  15. In recognition of the psychological and spiritual roots of the ecological crisis, we acknowledge the necessity to address the crisis and to explore ways to heal the illusion of the separation between humanity and the planet.

We, the participants in the Conference, wish to express our gratitude to the local organizer (Society of Wilderness) of APNEC-10 and other co-sponsors in Taiwan for their hospitality.

We welcome the offer of APNEC members from the Republic of Korea to host the 11th Asia-Pacific NGOs' Environmental Conference.

November 21, 2011
Tenth Asia-Pacific NGO Environmental Conference (APNEC-10 in Taipei)

JEC 日本環境会議